Hammett had already written and published "The Girl With the Silver Eyes," "The House in Turk Street," "The Golden Horseshoe," "The Whosis Kid," "The Gutting of Couffignal" and "The Big Knockover" by the time Ernest Hemingway "invented" the hard-boiled story, in other words.
Why do you think the BBC got it wrong? Is John Sutherland so insecure or such a snob that he has to invent a noble lineage for hard-boiled writing to justify his own affinity for it? Or is the man who shoots Princess Zafrina in the leg at the end of "The Gutting of Couffignal" really soft-boiled in some essential way that Hemingway's characters were not?
© Peter Rozovsky 2011